Release Day Picks: August 7th New Album Highlights
Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by Cory Wong, Jason Molina, Mountain Man, Kenny Roby, Daniel Donato and The Stooges. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Cory Wong – Trail Songs: Dawn
The Scoop: Vulfpeck guitarist Cory Wong today releases the seven-song LP, Trail Songs: Dawn. The record is a companinon to Trail Songs: Dusk, which came out last month. Both albums were written and recorded while Wong quarantining due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and feature his work on acoustic guitar. Described as the “more rollicking,” of the two albums, Dawn features guest contributions from Chris Thile, Sierra Hull and Cy Leo. “The music I wrote for this album is nothing like the music I’ve put out before,” Wong stated. “It’s reflective and contemplative. It’s all acoustic music, recorded on acoustic instruments. I started by writing tunes on the guitar, and then added layers while mocking up demos. And then I sent the demos and scores out to my friends to replace the demo parts. It was really a magical thing to be able to bring some of my friends together to play music from around the world in a time where many of them felt isolated from any sense of community. This music is meant to be taken in and absorbed through the lens of the listener’s self-reflection. Some people dream of taking a trip to the midwest to find a respite in nature to write. For me, I didn’t need to take a trip. I needed to stop taking trips! The midwest is home for me, and this album reminded me of that.”
Jason Molina – Eight Gates
The Scoop: A new posthumous Jason Molina album, Eight Gates, features the final collection of solo recordings he made before his tragic death in 2013. The LP was recorded in London, where Molina moved to at some point in 2006 or 2007 as per a press release. Jason wrote the material featured on the Secretly Canadian release Eight Gates in 2008 while recovering after he was bitten by what he claimed was a rare, poisonous spider. “I was in the hospital here in London,” Molina wrote in a letter. “Saw six doctors and a Dr. House-type guy. They are all mystified by it, but I am allowed to be at home, where I am taking a dozen scary Hantavirus type pills a day that are all to supposedly help – but they make me feel like shit.” However, there are no records of Molina’s visit to a doctor or for any prescriptions. Eight Gates is named after the London Wall. While the London Wall features seven gates, he called them eight with the eighth gate “Molina’s way into London, a gate only passable in the mind,” as per a press release. The album also includes the sounds of parakeets, recorded by Jason on a four-track, that are weaved into the music.
Mountain Man – Look at Me Don’t Look at Me
The Scoop: In 2018, Mountain Man embarked on a run of intimate shows in support of Magic Ship, a studio album released that year which was their first since the trio’s 2010 debut, Made The Harbor. The band consisting of Amelia Meath (of Sylvan Esso), Molly Sarlé and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig (Daughter Of Swords) played one of those shows in November 2018 at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. Look At Memusic.apple Don’t Look At Me, a live album out today on Nonesuch Records, features a recording of that magical evening. Included within are performances of songs from both Mountain Man records as well as witty banter, a take on Sarlé’s “Human” and a cover of “Hot Knife” by Fiona Apple.
Kenny Roby – The Reservoir
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Kenny Roby is back with his first solo album in seven years. Following his 2013 LP, Memories & Birds, The Resovoir sees Roby reflecting on a world that is swiftly changing, both on a personal level and in a more global sense. The last few years have seen Roby — who had been sober half his adult life — amicably split with his wife after more than 20 years and also mourn the loss of longtime friend and collaborator, Neal Casal. After Kenny shared with Neal many of the songs that would land on The Resovoir, which clicked with Casal on a deep level, Neal had signed on to produce the record. Sadly, Casal died by suicide in August 2019. But before he passed on, Neal had spoken to Widespread Panic bassist and Hard Working Americans band mate Dave Schools about Roby’s new record and Dave helped Kenny put together a band that included drummer Tony Leone, multi-instrumental Jesse Aycock, bassist Jeff Hill and guitarist John Lee Shannon to record the 16-song set in Roby’s new home of Woodstock, New York. “Neal dying was tragic and traumatic for many of us, but what he was able to do in bringing people together was remarkable,” Roby said in a statement. “It’s a kind of soul-networking. His death brought on other kinds of healing. It brought me deeper into my recovery and into growing up and living for the day and knowing what I want. That’s been a gift.”
Daniel Donato – A Young Man’s Country
The Scoop: After joining the Don Kelley Band at 16 and developing his talents playing in honky-tonks and by busking, Daniel Donato’s new record A Young Man’s Country, is the now 25-year-old Nashville-native’s debut album. The 11-song “cosmic country for the 21st century” LP was recorded over two days at Nashville’s Sound Emporium. Renowned guitarist Robben Ford, whose credits include working with Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi, Keb Mo, Larry Carlton, Mavis Staples and many others, produced A Young Man’s Country. The album contains covers of Waylon Jennings’ “Ain’t Living Long Like This,” John Prine’s classic “Angel From Montgomery” that was recorded before Prine’s death from COVID-19, and the Grateful Dead’s “Fire On The Mountain” which morphs out of his original “Meet Me In Dallas.” Donato, who hosts his own podcast Daniel Donato’s Lost Highway and is livestreaming tonight, was turned on to the Grateful Dead when a high school teacher gave him a large collection of live show recordings. “It gave me a tie to all of the classic country gold I’d been working down at the honky-tonks each weekend,” Donato said of the musical gift. “Grateful Dead and Merle Haggard had always lived in my heart, but now, the link was made, and I had a vision on how to keep it alive for this generation that I am coming from.”
The Stooges – The Stooges’ Live At Goose Lake: August 8, 1970
The Scoop: Nearly 50 years to the day it was put to 1/4” stereo two-track tape, Third Man Records releases The Stooges’ Live At Goose Lake: August 8, 1970. Vance Powell (The White Stripes, Chris Stapleton) restored the audio while Bill Skibbe mastered the album at Third Man Mastering. The previously-unheard recording — which sees the punk pioneers performing their 1970 album Fun House in its entirety just before the release — marks not only The Stooges’ final performance with their original lineup but also the only soundboard recording of said lineup. For a half-century, the performance has clung to the precipice of myth. As the legend goes, bassist Dave Alexander succumbed to either pressure or substance and was unable to play in front of the 200,000 festival-goers. After the set, so the story goes, Iggy Pop fired him — putting into motion the end of The Stooges. But the discovery of the high-quality soundboard recording in a Michigan basement may prove otherwise.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.